California man indicted after allegedly forcing teen into prostitution in East New York: DA

DA prostitution indictment
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced a man has been indicted for allegedly sex trafficking a 16-year-old girl.
File photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A Los Angeles man has been indicted with sex trafficking after allegedly coercing a 16-year-old to travel to New York City to engage in forced prostitution in East New York, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Wednesday.

“This defendant allegedly exploited a vulnerable teenager to engage in prostitution over several days before she called her mother seeking help,” Gonzalez said in a Feb. 1 statement. “We are grateful for the police who brought her to safety, and deeply committed to seeking justice for this victim and all those impacted by this abhorrent crime.”

According to the DA’s office, the defendant, 28-year-old Diamond Stewart, first connected with the teenaged victim on Instagram. Stewart then allegedly told the victim that he would pay for her flight to New York City from her home in Kansas City, Missouri, and that she would be engaging in prostitution in exchange for money.

brooklyn DA eric gonzalez announced a man had been indicted for prostitution
Stewart is being charged with sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, and more, and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top charge, according to Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez. File photo by Colin Mixson

The victim arrived in the city by plane on Dec. 22, 2022, and Stewart called her an Uber to take her to the Thatford Hotel in the Brownsville, where she checked into a room he had already paid for.

Following her arrival, the defendant then allegedly met with the victim in the room before instructing her to walk the “track” in East New York, also telling her what prices to charge for various sex acts. 

While she engaged in forced prostitution in below-freezing temperatures, Stewart allegedly drove around the area, taking money from the victim that she earned.

On Dec. 25, the victim called her mother to tell her where she was and what was going on, and asked for help. Her mother contacted the 75th Precinct, and officers found the victim on the track. They brought her back to the police station, and then to the hospital. 

Stewart faces charges of sex trafficking of a child, attempted sex trafficking of a child, promoting prostitution, third-degree rape, third-degree criminal sexual act, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted of the top count, Stewart faces up to 25 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender upon release. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun set his bail at $250,000 cash or $1 million bond, and Stewart will appear in court again on March 23. 

NYPD officer Antonio Pagan of the joint NYPD/FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force investigated the case, with assistance from FBI officers in California. Stewart is accused of promoting the forced prostitution of a 21-year-old woman from California at the same time he was exploiting the 16-year-old victim in East New York. 

Late last year, 23-year-old Kaelin Alexander of Staten Island was arrested in a different sex trafficking case with very similar details. Alexander was indicted by the DA’s office after he and an unnamed co-conspirator allegedly forced a 16-year-old girl to walk the same tracks in East New York while watching from a parked car nearby. The defendant and his companion — who was still at large at the time of his arrest — reportedly forced the victim to give them the money she earned.